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Moving Luna the Orca
Luna the orca either abandoned his pod or was evicted from
it shortly after he was born in 1999. Ever since, he has been
hanging out playing with humans in Nootka Sound in BC. The Canadian Government is
, partly raised from contributions from
well-meaning, but naïve people, to attempt to capture him and take him to the Puget
Sound in the USA where the rest of his pod live.
I think this is foolish for eight reasons.
Luna is in a relatively remote area right now. He would be far more of a nuisance
in the densely populated waters near Seattle. Where he is in Nootka Sound, the natives
have been dealing with orcas for thousands of years. They are happy to have him and are
willing to put up with him. No one else really is.
Luna is in relatively clean water now. He would be at risk from the polluted waters
of the Puget Sound near the sewers of Seattle.
We have no idea why Luna is alienated from his pod. Those reasons most likely still
apply. A tearful family reunion is highly unlikely. That is a Disney fantasy.
Even if Luna does rejoin his pod, there is no guarantee he will lose his attraction
to playing with humans and boats.
If a bear were causing a minor nuisance in northern BC, it would be obviously nuts
to trap him and take him to Seattle and release him near the Space Needle. This is
analogously what we are doing to Luna.
Luna is not lost. If he wanted to visit Seattle, he could get there in a matter of
days on his own. He has made it clear he does not want to be moved. He has a brain
larger than yours or mine. We have no right to meddle in the life of such an
If we interfere and drag him off to Seattle, what is to stop him swimming back home
again after his expensive junket at taxpayer expense?
As a tourist attraction, Luna is worth about
. Why are we spending
to get rid of such an asset? Why not make the best of this? Give Luna a bay to himself,
and let tourists come from around the planet to view him from a safe distance and let
him interact with trained handlers?
The Case For Moving Luna
The main argument for moving Luna is that there was another young whale, a two-year
old female, Springer who was successfully reunited. Springer gave up boat chasing after
reuniting with her pod. Five-year old Luna has been separated 3 years. Springer was only
separated 6 months. It is guess work what will happen with